If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you’d laze in bed together on Sunday mornings, with just thin, jersey-cotton sheets as the only barrier between your bodies and the air, and she would read Wallace Stevens aloud to you. You’d debate the pros and cons of austerity in poetry until she said, “Honey, we’re saying the same thing,” and then kissed you through a smile.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, she would normally keep her Southern accent hidden, using her “TV accent” with most everyone else. But around you, especially when you’re winding around each other in the kitchen, hands trailing along waists, she’d dip into an exaggerated drawl, sweet and slow and light as an overburdened bumblebee.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, your pets would include a very smart raven whose feathers matched her exact shade of brunette, and you wouldn’t ever be quite sure whether that bird wasn’t her familiar.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, even though you’d know she had moved beyond this, she’d laugh and laugh with you about what a fool Billy Crudup is, and you’d call him “Crapdown,” which she would find clever instead of reaching. You’d both acknowledge in private, though, perhaps when you’re about to fall asleep and her face is turned toward yours, that if he’d never left her, your paths might not have crossed.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, all her friends would take to you immediately. No one else makes her blush like that, they’d think, and no one else but you makes her smile her real smile. They know when she’s acting, and she isn’t when she’s with you, they’d tell you. (They don’t judge you when you start weeping.)
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, she’d ask if you were busy next Friday and if not, would you be interested in being her date to an awards show? Then she’d patiently listen to you freak out about how you look, and when you’d said it all, she would hold your hand and then tell you she feels the most beautiful when you’re at her side, because you find the grace in every piece of her, not just her body. (She doesn’t judge you when you start weeping.)
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, your inability to keep plants alive would melt away like a snowball in a hot tub, and you’d be especially adept at growing her favorite flowers.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you’d find out her smile can placate even the wildest of beasts; thus all zoos would become petting zoos for you.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, everywhere you went people would recognize her as her character from “Weeds,” leading many a stranger to divulge their own drug histories and/or offerings. She would politely decline proffered marijuana, and when you pout, she’d say, “It’s cool, Claire Danes and I are now great friends, and she has the best bud; it keeps her sane while shooting ‘Homeland.’ Let’s text her!”
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, she would have no problem visiting your hometown during the holidays, putting on a gorgeous dress, and walking hand-in-hand with you through the busiest bars, where you would just happen to run into the people who were the meanest to you growing up. As soon as they were staring at her – you’re used to people gawking at her by now – she would smile at you, kiss you full on the mouth, then stare at them back, dead in the eye, her face like thunder, until they came up and apologized for everything they ever did to you.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, she would have no trouble outpacing your goddamn dirty mouth, spewing forth creative profanity with such ease that you could do nothing but try to remember it for the next traffic jam.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you’d suddenly find pocket squares on your bedroom bureau, and you’d notice that they match her favorite dresses. When you asked her about them, she’d tell you about the suit fitting she set up for you, and how that tailor is known for making your shoulders look strong and your ass look perfect.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, any debate or fight you had would wind up in the same place: so turned on by each other’s brains and passion that you just end up in the bedroom, where everyone wins.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you’d let it slip that Fried Green Tomatoes was a formative experience for you as a young gay kid, and you’ve always thought she was one of the most gorgeous and interesting women in the world ever since seeing it, and this wouldn’t creep her out. Instead, she would take you New Orleans where she set up a dinner with Mary Stuart Masterson and Kathy Bates, and the four of you would laugh until you cried over a vegan Cajun meal (and you would all definitely agree that they should have kept the real story of Ruth and Idgie’s love in the movie adaptation). That night, she would turn out her reading light, wrap herself around you tightly, and whisper into the back of your neck when she thinks you’re asleep, “You’re my bee charmer.”
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, all of your flights would depart from and land at gates next to at least one restaurant with vegetarian options and friendly servers, one coffee shop, and one free-wifi-free-wine shop.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, upon meeting her, your mother would pull you aside and plead with you, demanding that you tell her this is not a phase.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you would automatically attain all the rights and privileges of a sea captain but none of the responsibilities.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, the two of you would host a monthly dinner party with Ellen and Portia, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, Barack and Michelle, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris, Viola Davis and whoever she chooses to bring (it’s usually Helen Mirren, but she surprises you sometimes), and Abbi and Ilana. No one ever misses a month and everyone always loves your salads.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, people would start referring to casual, relaxed, possibly ostentatious movements as You-ing, instead of swanning.
If Mary-Louise Parker were your girlfriend, you’d suddenly find all your self-conscious anxieties disappeared when she kissed you, and your brain would be free to use that energy for creative pursuits, earning you the Nobel Prize in Great Ideas How Have We Never Thought of That? (But that doesn’t exist? It does for Mary-Louise Parker’s significant other.)
Molly Priddy is a writer and editor living in Montana. You can follow her on Twitter at @mollypriddy, where you'll find plenty of photos of her dogs.